I gotta be careful here or Preston will rip me apart like he did when I wrote about pen.io. This website has a little more direction. Here is what it does. You go to the website (www.oneword.com) and click the Go button. It will take you to a new page where you will see a word at the top. You then have 1 minute to write about that word. That’s it! Simple, focused and very pretty. It’s seems pretty simple (and it is) but there are a lot more features to learn about. Click on past the break to see great images and how you can (or should) use it in your class.
You don’t even need an account to do the daily writing. However, if you want to save, join a group or follow people (all of which are quite handy) then you need to sign up. The good news is all you need to do is create a username, a password and provide a valid email address.
Once you have filled out the form you will need to go to your email and verify that you really want a oneword.com account.
After you have verified your account it will take you to a page where you can do all sorts of stuff. Don’t worry you have access to all of these options at any time.
This is the meat and potatoes of the site-the writing. Every day there will be a new word. To get to the writing prompt look for the go button and click it.
When you click it this what the prompt looks like. They will give you a word and you have 1 minute to write all about it.
The bar at the bottom of the page is a timer that gives you a visual reminder of your time ticking away.
When your time is up (that minutes does fly by) they give you an opportunity to review your work, so it doesn’t just cut you off completely. You have a chance to fix misspelled words, adding those important punctuation marks and just clean it up a bit. When that quick editing is done click on the grey button.
It will take you to the read where you can view what other people have written. It is actually pretty awesome to see all the ideas, creativity and differences posted in the same place.
The exercise of writing for a minute is pretty great but teachers demand a little more. They want to be able to view them all quickly and be able to revisit them again if need be. Now worries my fellow educators oneword has thought about this.
Not only can you follow or friend someone but you can create groups that your students can join. This obviously will save you lots of time from searching for wayward posts. So here is how you do it.
At the top of the page there is a menubar, Click on My Account.
This will take you to this page. If you notice the bottom right hand corner you have a Community section.
Go ahead and click on all groups. This will take you to the groups directory page where you can create your own group!
Now click on create a group and you will have to complete 4 steps and then you will have a group of your very own.
Create a group name and description. This step is pretty self explanatory.
The next step is an important one. You can set up who (if anyone) can see your group. For my group I chose it to be a private group. That way students can find it but their membership request has to be approved before they can actually join.
The third step is to create an Avatar (you don’t have to though).
The final step is to invite people from your friends list. Unfortunately I don’t have any friends on oneword.com yet, so there is nothing to show. Then click finish.
If your class is not on oneword yet don’t worry. You can go ahead and make your group private. That way your students can search through the groups directory, find your group
When they find the group they will need to request membership.
You, as the teacher, will receive a notifications saying that people are requesting membership into your group.
This will take you to your list of people requesting membership. It is pretty straightforward what you need to do from here.
Wrapping things up
Wow I never thought this post would be this long, with these many pictures, but don’t let that fool you. Oneword is a pretty simple website with one goal-get people writing about a topic and then allow you to explore what others have written. It is a pretty website and pretty easy to use as well. This is a great activity to start off a class and to really spark a student’s imagination (as well as that of the teacher’s too).
You should definitely check it out for yourself. I highly recommend it for all English and ELL teachers out there.